Change managers a collaborative approach to a collaborative initiative
A key focus of change managers is being an enabler to help Kāhui Ako evolve rather than coming in to fix things that are broken.
Change managers are not the decision-makers and don’t arrive with solutions. Rather, they seek to understand where a particular Kāhui Ako is at in its journey by listening and gathering insights to determine the best way to help them progress.
Often there might be a gut feeling or insight into what needs to happen and help to articulate that feeling is all that’s required. In other cases, several options might be presented so the Kāhui Ako can weigh the pros and cons and determine which solution will work best for them; and importantly, which solution they can sustain.
While the insights and advice will be situation dependent, outcomes are better when the starting point is an open mind, the change management process is a partnership and everyone is willing to learn, change and try different things.
Change managers, expert partners and other PLD providers will work with Kāhui Ako individually or as a team and that decision is based entirely on the needs of the Kāhui Ako and its stakeholders. Local Ministry advisors are available to help facilitate this support and ensure everyone is on the same page.
What change managers have found to date is that trusting open relationships are a vital foundation and that role clarity, negotiation and shared understandings are equally important.
Good establishment systems and processes are essential, including a shared understanding of where a Kāhui Ako is heading, good systems and processes that complement and support the achievement challenges, and individuals being clear about their roles and expectations.
It’s about understanding what success looks like in all aspects other than pedagogy so every member of a Kāhui Ako is empowered to develop and be involved in effective, long-term change.
A shared purpose and vision is important, but equally important is that all stakeholders have a shared understanding of exactly what that looks like operationally and how that will support great teaching and learning.
A good gauge to know if you could benefit from the involvement of a change manager can be inducting a new member: How easy was it to cover all the components of the Kāhui Ako? Were you clear? Were they clear in their understanding?
It’s really important because the leadership roles are for two years and you should be mindful all the time of what you will be handing over so the Kāhui Ako is always building and not having to start from scratch each time.
Even well-established Kāhui Ako can benefit from change management expertise if they have plateaued and need that extra lift to get going again. It may just be the ongoing sensation that they could be more effective and they just don’t know how to move to that next level.
It may be a task that a Kāhui Ako is grappling with that needs change management support to progress and that could be the end point for the engagement. Alternatively, a deeper scoping exercise may identify more complex needs that require more intensive change management support. Some Kāhui Ako may need time between engagements to do some work before they’re ready to take the next step.
Another area change managers can help with is establishing strong links with the community. All members need to invest in strengthening their connections in the community. This could be with targeted groups or organisations, such as iwi or local employers, or with the broader community.
It’s about getting the right people together and then putting good systems and processes in place to enable them to do great things.
Change managers will be able to support you with strategies and approaches, as well as with how to communicate effectively.
Connecting a child and young person’s pathway, knowing what they learnt and when they learnt it, means their learning is always building. University, trades and other career choices need to be given equal consideration if that’s what children and young people want. Being supported in their choices and with the backing of their Kāhui Ako, children and young people will be confident participants on the national and global stage.
The goal of change managers is to ensure that Kāhui Ako members are developing their own skills in change management so that they can continue to lead and embed skills long after they’ve gone.
That’s the key for Kāhui Ako and this is the real value of change managers.
How to access a change manager
Information about the 14 change management providers and the locations they service is available on www.education.govt.nz (the green Kāhui Ako tab). To access the service, contact your local Kāhui Ako lead advisor.
Change Managers and Expert Partners have complementary skill sets and engaging both at the same time, particularly in the foundation stages, will add the most value.
Collaboratively develop a planned approach to change, tailored to the specific context of each Kāhui Ako, to enable them to innovate and continue to develop.
Focus on helping Kāhui Ako understand organisational processes, which includes systems and people.
Will engage as and when required and for a period as short or as long as necessary.
The expert partners work with Kāhui Ako on their achievement challenges. They help with data, pedagogy, teaching and learning, and inquiry processes.
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